Why do families decide to attend a particular church? Recent research by George Barna reveals that the majority of parents decide which church they will attend based on the church their children like.
58% of parents say the children's programming is the biggest reason they choose the church they are attending.
This reaffirms the fact that children are a big influence on where their family attends church. Kids may be small, but they carry a lot of weight when it comes choosing a church.
I can't emphasize this enough and I hope you realize what an important role you play in reaching families. You oversee the biggest growth engine in your church.
Kids definitely have what I call "pester power." They will pester their parents when they really want something. Have you ever bought a child a toy that requires batteries and you forget to purchase the batteries?
It happened to me once...and I learned my lesson. One Christmas, I bought my son a toy that required batteries and I forgot to purchase the batteries. He opened the toy and was so excited...until he saw we didn't have batteries. He asked me to get batteries. I told him we would, but that it would be tomorrow before we got the batteries since most of the stores were closed on Christmas day.
30 minutes later, he came and asked me again about the batteries. I told him it would be tomorrow.
But he was back again in a few minutes asking about the batteries. After being asked about 10 times, I said, "Okay, let's go find some batteries." And we found a store that was open and got the batteries.
Our goal should be this - make church such an engaging experience for kids that they pester their parents to bring them back.
There have been times when I heard someone say, "We were going to stay home and watch the service online today, but our kids wouldn't stop asking us to bring them and so here we are."
"When you take a child by the hand, you take a parent by the heart."
By ministering to children, you have the opportunity to influence the greatest influence in a child's life...their parents.
You may oversee the children's ministry and your main focus is the children. But if you really want to make a huge impact, then you must also think about the children's parents.
Think about this as well...
"When you reach a child you change a life, but when you reach parents you change an entire family."
What a great opportunity God has entrusted you with. To reach kids and their parents with the Gospel of Jesus. And then help them grow in their faith and become mature believers.
Look at an example found in John 4:23-54.
After the two days he left for Galilee. (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there.
Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.
“Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”
The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
“Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”
The man took Jesus at His word and departed. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.” Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.
Notice what happened. The man came to Jesus for one reason. His son was sick and needed healing. And through that it says, "So he and his entire household believed."
It happened then and it can happen now. God can use you to bring children and their families to Jesus.
Walk in this calling. Live out this calling. Bear fruit from this calling. Be the catalyst that God uses to see entire families transformed by His grace and love.